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Roby: A season of thanksgiving and rebuilding

Thanksgiving is a uniquely special holiday because it provides us an entire day each year to pause as a country and give thanks to God for the countless ways He has blessed us. The stress and craziness of everyday life often make it easy to lose sight of just how much we have to be thankful for, so as we all have the opportunity to gather with loved ones this Thanksgiving, I hope we all take time to count our numerous blessings.

While we have a lot to be thankful for in our state and country right now, there are also people in our district and throughout the Southeast who are in the midst of a very challenging recovery period in the wake of Hurricane Michael. When this horrific storm made landfall just over a month ago, areas of Alabama, Florida and Georgia were completely ravaged. Hundreds of people lost everything, and more than 30 people were killed. Needless to say, this Thanksgiving will be a very emotional time for many people in our country.

Here in our district, the agriculture community faces the most significant devastation. While the full scale of damages is still being assessed at this time, Hurricane Michael dealt a terrible blow to our cotton, timber, and peanut farmers.

In the aftermath of the storm, I have traveled to the Wiregrass several times to be with our farmers and to see firsthand what they are experiencing. In fact, I recently had the opportunity to visit a farm in Houston County with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue and Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillan to assess damage and discuss recovery efforts with some local farmers.

I appreciate the local leaders and hardworking farmers who took the time to sit down with Secretary Perdue, Commissioner McMillan, and me. Secretary Perdue is a friend to Alabama, and I’m deeply grateful that he made this visit happen and participated in this important dialogue with Alabama farmers. I will work alongside Secretary Perdue and my colleagues in Congress to provide the proper resources and assistance to our farmers. My job is to be on the front line fighting for Alabama, and we are making the push to get this done quickly and correctly. We must get this right, and we must ensure that Alabama’s farmers are included in all recovery efforts.

Throughout my time in Congress, I have made it a priority to fight for our farmers of all commodities. Their work to provide the food and fiber we depend on is vitally important. I will continue to advocate for them, especially during this time of uncertainty as we work to put the pieces back together for these hardworking men and women who have suffered tremendous loss to their livelihoods.

During this season of Thanksgiving as you’re gathered with family and friends, I hope you will join me in prayerfully remembering our neighbors in the Wiregrass and throughout the Southeast. While the challenge of rebuilding won’t be easy, I am confident that we will get through it together.

In the spirit of the holiday, I want to take this opportunity to tell you that I am thankful for the responsibility to serve our state and country in the United States Congress. It is a true honor to be in a position to make a difference on behalf of Alabama’s Second District, so thank you for allowing me to serve you. From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is a Republican from Montgomery.

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